Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Eternal Flame

The afternoon after our visit to Khor Virap, we went to the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan. Built during Soviet times in response to demands from the local population that the USSR recognize the mass killings of up to a million and a half Armenians living under the Ottoman Empire, it has the clean lines, severity, and simplicity of many other Soviet monuments.

And like many memorials, it is no less moving for its lack of adornment. The memorial features an eternal flame surrounded by twelve obelisks. The obelisks symbolize the twelve historical population centers the Armenian people. Together, Governor Dean and I planted a pine tree in a grove where elected officials from around the world have done the same in remembrance of the genocide.

Onnik Krekorian's links have more about our visit to the memorial.